Updated: Feb 10, 2022
Jo Wilson, Mum to two CAL students, Cantonese learner and Mandarin scholar gives CantoneseSheik and its online dictionary CantoDict a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review. She writes:
CantoneseSheik is an awesome tool - I use it everyday when I want to find the right word in Cantonese. The front page has loads of resources for Cantonese, but my favourite part is the online dictionary, CantoDict, the link to which can be found on the left hand side of the main page.
CantoDict allows me to search by English word, jyutping, character and Chinese word. It is organised with the Cantonese and Mandarin versions clearly labelled (粵 jyut6 for Cantonese) and with jyutping and pinyin given.
If you write an English word, CantoDict will give you the spoken Cantonese version. This sounds obvious, but it is actually unlike many dictionaries, which provide a Mandarin translation to which they add Cantonese pronunciation. It's not the same!
I love that you can look up one simple character, for example, 幾 gei2 (how many, a few, quite) and the dictionary gives you all the compound words (in this case there are 99!) and some useful example sentences, some of which have audio too. You can just click on the character to find out more about how it works and in what combinations.
The pink box and character 粵 shows the given word
or sentence in spoken Cantonese.
Another great feature is the “Parser” - a tool into which you can cut and paste Chinese text. The parser breaks down sentences and gives you the jyutping (and pinyin/simplified characters if you need them) and the English. Magic!
For absolute beginners, you can just use English to look up Chinese words, but to make the most out of the dictionary, it helps if you know how to use your finger to copy Chinese characters. Having the ability to input characters on your device really helps to accelerate your learning. Ask your teacher to show you how to do this and then dedicate some time to practising. In time you will get quicker and the predictive technology will help you as you learn to write in Chinese.
Another great thing about CantoneseSheik that I should mention is: it’s absolutely FREE!